First History Lesson

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Your First Drunken History Lesson On The World of Edrilyn

To say that I may have been drinking a bit in the last few days is what one could perhaps
call an understatement.

In fact, I’ve been sitting in this bar too long – it’s beginning to seem comfortable. For a
rundown hole in the center of Lilin – a mere remnant of a city itself – I’ve started to find
a bit of solace in the spirits – fancying the Mead at first, then coming to the realization
that my pockets were emptying rapidly, switching to Ale. I can’t say that I’ve found
much interest in the other people in this shady bar… uh, I think it’s called ‘Kallyn’s
Folly’ – which is quite the funny take on the catastrophic events that essentially brought
most of the average folk in the city to their cups in the first place. Of course, I might be
mistaken about the name. I haven’t been outside in days… weeks maybe… or who really
knows at this point – it doesn’t matter much.

But I’m already losing focus here – my name is Cillaride Taenn – people just call
me ‘Cill’ or sometimes ‘Stop, Thief’. Yes, a thief – a common cutpurse, as common as they come. Times in Lilin have been tough since the ‘Folly’, and one has to make his living somehow. I realize that I’m only making it worse for people who already have it tough by stealing from them, but I really do mean it when I say that I intend to pay them all back somehow, someday… just as soon as I figure out how, and really – without their money, I couldn’t buy my booze. Without my booze, how could I possibly think of a way to pay them all back? If I had to think about the sober reality
of the world today, I’d never get out a creative thought. You’re probably too young to remember the good times – I’m sure you’ve heard some version of the tale, but take it from me – I was there. Oh, did I forget to mention I’m an Elf? I hide it well sometimes here in town. I suppose I don’t live up to it much anyway. Ah well…

Far too depressing out there in the overgrown forest we call our lovely land of Edrylin.
I suppose things aren’t really all that bad, if you subscribe that sort of thing – trees and
birds and animals and people all living in nature’s harmony, but suppose for a moment
you miss the way things used to be. Grand cities with palatial temples to all of the great
gods who created Edrylin, huge towers of scholarly knowledge, great rulers who had
empires than spanned as far as one could see – all gone, because of one god’s mistake…
Rallyn’s Folly as we like to call it.

You see, good old Rallyn took it upon himself to try and make peace down here. Too
many of his brothers and sisters bickering over this civilization and that city and this
ocean. Rallyn, the Bringer of Justice decided he was going to end it once and for all.
The legends say that he enlisted the power of mysterious other being that allowed him to
kill the other gods that he thought were working against the progression of Edrilyn. What
Rallyn failed to see was that their constant bickering and fighting was a balancing force
that kept everything delicately in-line. When he killed one god, he needed to kill another to balance things out. Of course, Rallyn didn’t realize that he would never be able
to accomplish his goal until at the end, he was the only one left standing. Realizing what
he had done, Rallyn figured that the only solution would be to leave Edrilyn himself – the
only balance in there being no gods at all. So he gathered all of his fallen brothers’ and sisters’ power and hid them away throughout the land. Then, he disappeared himself.

What happened next is up to some serious conjecture. Some say that Rallyn took what
he used to kill the others to kill himself, leaving this god-slaying weapon laying where
he went to his final rest. Others say that he simply just walked away from Edrilyn, never
to return. More yet say that he didn’t leave at all, that Rallyn is still quietly watching
(but based on what happened in the next several years, I seriously doubt it). However,
most bards that I’ve heard the story form agree that he did do one important thing before
he left. Rallyn called together his 100 most loyal and just priests and warriors – men
and women who saw that he had made a great mistake, but who were willing to forgive
their impetuous deity in the face of the fact that he seemed cognizant of the wrong he
had done. That day he left Edrilyn (in whatever way that he did), he bestowed upon
these brave few some of his power that they could use to oversee and protect the people
he had done so much wrong to. The power he had given them would be passed down
among their bloodlines, allowing these few followers of Rallyn to remain as the only
holy warriors of any god to retain any power. It is said that these ‘chosen’ or The Justicars of The Mark all bear the same birthmark – a flower… or something on their right shoulder blade.

I’ve seen men killed for having any sort of mark there – a mole, a tattoo, excess hair. If
it’s a tattoo you’re looking to get, I’d recommend getting one anywhere but there. You
see, while Rallyn’s chosen found it in their hearts to forgive the ‘ole lug, most people
found it hard to do so considering their tragic losses from the plague and all. The druids,
well… suffice to say, they suddenly found themselves in the business of making the
people happy, and decided to go with the flow on that issue. If you ask me (and thanks
for doing so), it’s a whole lot more sinister than that. You see, some people think that
these Druid saviors started to kind of like the whole situation that they were in. It’s one
thing to argue with city leaders that they need to build around that patch of forest rather
than tear it down than to be able to tell them that’s what they need to do. It isn’t just me
that speculates that the druids are kinda happy how things turned out – and that it’d be a-
ok if they stayed that way.

When the gods left Edrilyn after Rallyn’s Folly, everything pretty much just started to fall
apart. Funny how things don’t become apparent until everything starts going downhill.
With no clerics or healers to protect us, disease ran rampant. Natural sickness as well as
concocted strains from madmen’s laboratories laid waste to the populace. Without divine
help, many people were simply helpless – no arcane magic would fix our woes. Until the
druids stepped forward, it looked like the end was in sight. Now, I’m going to tell you the
truth that I am by no means a Druid-lover – I think those stuck up tree-huggers have a lot
of nerve telling people what they can and can’t do… but I have to admit, they really did
save the day back then.

Anyway, since then… people have been pretty nice to the druids and rangers and all
the forest folk – after they saved the world and all (probably half the people livin’ on it
died to the plague), and offered to listen to them and follow their ways. Religion is a
strange thing. Even when it’s gone, people naturally look for something to take its place.

I wouldn’t have expected it, but the druids stepped right on up to the stage and tried to
set some… order for the people. A rather charismatic and young druid named Dirawin
started the movement soon after the plague had begun to come under control. He
preached to the masses to abandon their cities and their material fineries for the simple
life of the woodland folk… and lots of people listened and did exactly that. That’s why almost every city you walk into is like this one – unkempt, broken-down, over-grown, and filled with a
rather… eclectic bunch who don’t so much buy into all of that hullabaloo.

Dirawin also is the founding member of the Great Druid Council… a collective of 24
Druids of importance who make all of the important decisions about what the council
should condone and support, and perhaps most importantly: condemn. I remember when
you came across a druid and he didn’t give a hoot what you did as long as it wasn’t in his
forest. Dirawin and his councilmen started a new vision, however, where they started
to think of the whole damn planet as their forest – and for all intensive purposes, unless
you’ve got a lot of power or a lot of savvy, it is their forest.

Which brings me to the other people with a lot of power out there – The Warlords. They
don’t bow to the druids, they don’t bow to any governments (there aren’t many left… but
there are a couple – the Dwarves, some isolationist Elves… maybe a few more), and they
only do whatever they want. Oddly, the druids leave them alone more than you would
think. You see, in a way, the Warlords help the druid’s cause as much as they hinder it.
People are afraid of the Warlords, so they go to the druids for protection. The Warlords
can be dealt with – depends on which one, and what mood he or she is in.

So what is it all come down to? Beats me, really. I’m just an old drunken Elf thief.
But, if you think about it… it might not be a bad situation for some people looking for
some opportunities. There’s all sorts of legends about lost power from the crumbled
civilizations and… the fallen gods. There’s even rumors that some folk might have
figured out how to take their place. You’d never hear that from a druid… well at least
one linked to the council. I mean, I’ve been pretty down on them, but there really are a
few good ones still out there. Druids who care more about balance and harmony, like the
old ones used to.

But, I’ve blabbered too much already, and I’m starting to sober up. So unless you’re
buying another round, I’ve got to get on my way.

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First History Lesson

Edrilyn oldbone